Undergraduate Program

Welcome to the Yale Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights!

The Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights offers Yale undergraduates the opportunity to explore human rights from an interdisciplinary perspective, providing students with the analytical and practical skills necessary for human rights study and human rights-related careers. With administrative, financial and programmatic support from the Schell Center for International Human Rights, the Program connects students to faculty and peers with similar interests, supports student research projects and internship opportunities, and offers coherent career guidance in the field.

Human rights today constitute a profoundly influential moral language and legal system through which to understand contemporary global affairs, not simply political but also cultural, social, and economic. Anthropology, area studies, law, literature, philosophy, political science, and many other fields have explored human rights issues from their own particular disciplinary perspectives and with their particular methodologies. The Human Rights Program is meant to recognize this complexity and to support a diverse community of scholars across the university; since its founding in 2014, the Program has included students from a wide variety of departments, including biology, computer science, environmental studies, history, and economics.

The Program fosters community and provides opportunities beyond the classroom. Human Rights Scholars come together for social events, workshops, symposia, human rights-related talks, and the annual Senior Capstone Symposium; they learn from one another not just in their classes, but also in weekly dinners and mentorships. Throughout their time in the Program, students receive academic, summer and post-graduate advising, and the Schell Center is able to provide limited financial support to pursue summer internships at human rights organizations or research projects on human rights issues.

Please email with any questions. If you would like to receive information about the program — such as dates for information sessions or special events — or receive other information about human rights events at Yale, go to and join the EliList humanrightsatyale.

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Important Information

Admissions Process

Unfortunately, the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights Studies (MAPHR) is unable to accept a new cohort of Human Rights Scholars from the Class of 2026 this fall. We understand that not taking a new class this year will be disappointing to many sophomores who anticipated being able to apply to the Program this fall. We are disappointed, too, and are sorry that several issues have made it impossible for us, at least for now, to continue the Program on its usual schedule.

We hope to resume admissions for the Program next academic year. If we are able to restart the Program, we will try to do it in a way that allows us to include members of the Class of 2026. Over the spring semester, we will continue exploring options for sustaining the program. Information will be posted here as soon as it is available. If you have any questions, please reach out to Shannon Sommers (

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